Jake Cobb, 10, of Bridgeton, cares so much about wild orangutans, he gave up the chance for a free laptop computer to help them.
The fourth-grader at Woodland Country Day School in Bridgeton won the “Good Deed” essay contest sponsored by Millville dentist George Kourakin, which came with a laptop as first prize. Cobb’s entry was about how he and his classmates worked to help orangutans, whose habitats are destroyed by palm oil plantations on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
“They cut down the trees for palm oil, which is in a lot of prepackaged foods. It’s the second most used oil in the world,” Cobb said.
At the current rate, orangutans could become extinct by 2023, he said.
Cobb gave a speech at his school and led a group making posters about palm oil and orangutans. The children also raised $313 for the World Wildlife Fund through bake sales and donations.
Cobb got interested in orangutans when teacher Pamela Bateman asked him to lead a school project to submit to the Philadelphia Zoo’s UNLESS contest. Named for the line from the Dr. Seuss book “The Lorax” — “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” — it aimed to get schoolchildren involved in orangutan protection.
In his essay, Cobb said if he won, he would prefer that the money to buy the prize be donated to the Philadelphia Zoo’s orangutan project. So Kourakin is donating $300 in Cobb’s honor.
Cobb’s parents, Donna and Bruce Cobb, run Arc Greenhouses in Shiloh.
Nurse, 54, completes college
Diane Henry, of Mays Landing, worked hard to help put her own three children and two stepchildren through college. On Saturday, she graduated from Drexel University with her bachelor of science degree in nursing, at age 54.
Sons Timothy (T.J.) Moore, 28, of Egg Harbor Township, a biology teacher at Middle Township High School; and Philadelphia area residents and businessmen Brian Moore, 26, and Kevin Moore, 24, could not be more proud or more grateful, T.J. said.
“When I was in elementary school ... she was a waitress and a unit clerk at a hospital, and went to Atlantic Cape Community College to get her associate degree in nursing,” T.J. said. Henry is now a nurse at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Mainland Campus, in Galloway Township.
The family will celebrate together, including T.J.’s wife, Tara Moore, manager of Burberry in The Pier at Caesars in Atlantic City, and her 4-month-old son, Owen.